AUTUMN PINSPIRATION & WHY IT’S THE BEST SEASON OF THE YEAR. 

AUTUMN PINSPIRATION & WHY IT’S THE BEST SEASON OF THE YEAR. 

autumn pinspiration inspiration | Photo credits | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |

This post is a little less profound than the last, but who doesn’t love a good mood-board-style picture montage?

Autumn is my favourite season. I like its when its cold; I like it when it’s bright; I like wearing wooly scarves and hats and socks. As you can now imagine, I loved putting together my autumn Pinterest board. I know, I get it, it’s practically winter now – all the more reason to post this now and not next week. 

So, aside from all the cuddly and cosy bits and bobs that come with it, why is autumn the best season going? 

I’ll tell you why. 

Because no matter how long ago you left school, autumn marks a new year. It might not be a new school year anymore, but you just try to tell me you don’t still get that fresh start feeling when autumn rolls around. You can’t. Because it’s not true. And god I need that fresh start feeling this autumn (I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – I am content in my life, my work, my relationships. It’s just my brain and my way of thinking that needs a little bit of refresh). 

Wasn’t it great though – the start of a new school year? New pencil case, new school notebooks, new student planner, new pens, new school bag. If I was lucky, a new pair of school shoes in which I would strut back through those school gates thinking “this is it, this is my year, I’m going to make this year my bitch”. Don’t get me wrong, the feeling had worn off by the time it got to January, heading back after the Christmas holidays. But still, there was always next year. 

So there it is, why Autumn is the best of all the seasons. Have a think about all the autumny things you love so we can keep this feeling going before the impending winter kicks in. 

Until next time,

   

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HOW TO COPE WITH FEELING OVERWHELMED. 

HOW TO COPE WITH FEELING OVERWHELMED. 

how to cope with feeling overwhelmed

The past couple of weeks have been tough. I’m happy, don’t get me wrong, it’s just so difficult keeping everything in perspective and not getting overwhelmed by everything and anything. 

I feel useless, I feel weak willed, I feel irrational and I feel a bit pathetic to be honest. This isn’t all of the time, but it’s enough. More than enough. Wallowing in self pity isn’t the way to make this better – actually, it’ll just make it way way worse. And that would just be shit. 

In this post I want to just share some of the things that I’m working on to help me cope with feeling overwhelmed. So, let’s get on with it. 

 GET ORGANISED

This first one is a lot of fun for me, I love getting organised. Planners, pens, journals, post its, calendars, apps – I love it all! 

At the minute I’m playing with a Bullet Journal system in a dotted moleskine notebook. If you’re interested, I first stumbled across it on Boho Berry and decided to give it a go. I’m pretty happy with it so far but I’m planning an entire post about how I’ve set it up so I’ll leave it here for now. 

Planning the future weeks and daily to do lists is helping me to put things into perspective and get on top of everything. I can remind myself of all the things I have to look forward to and focus my days around the things I need to do to get me in the mindset I want to be in. Plus, there’s nothing – and I mean nothing – more satisfying than crossing something off a to do list. 

  BE MINDFUL

This one is taking some getting used to. This was a suggestion from one of my therapy sessions (I was skeptical but therapy is really helping – you really should try it). Being mindful revolves around doing one thing at a time and when you’re doing that one thing, really being there in the moment. Not thinking about what you need to do in 30 seconds’ time, not what you’re having for lunch, not that awful thing that happened yesterday – just the now. 

It’s hard to get used to in world that’s moving so fast. We’re all multitasking, we’re all thinking about a million things at once. Don’t. Slow down. When you’re having a cup of tea, just have a cup of tea. 

Be an observer. Don’t judge, just observe. Snap judgements can lead to catastrophising a situation, so practicing not judging with the small things will help when it comes to the bigger things. 

“This mug is cream with a capital E on one side and a lower case e on the other. It clinks my top teeth every time I take a sip. The tea is Yorkshire tea with a splash of soya milk. I’m sitting on the sofa on a tartan blanket. The seat is warm where I’ve been sitting for the last few hours. The sun is shining through the gap in the curtains and on to the arm of the sofa to my left.”

CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF

This is another one that I’m working on becoming a habit, another one that came from therapy. Whether it’s once a day, twice a day or once an hour, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? Why are you feeling that way? How can you maintain/change your mood?

I do this once a day, just before I go to bed. I rate my day out of 5 based on how my average mood has been throughout the day then I write the thing(s) that I am most grateful for that day. 

It’s a little thing. It takes a couple of minutes. It’s making a huge difference. 

Checking in with myself before I go to bed reminds me that even if I’ve not had a great day, I still have things to be grateful for. It helps my put things into perspective when I’m feeling overwhelmed. 

  
So that’s it, that’s how I’m currently trying to stay on top of things. As I’ve said before, I’m probably never going to stop worrying, but I can (hopefully) calm the fuck down when I do.

Until next time,

  

WHO OR WHOM? AN EASY RULE FOR WORKING OUT WHICH TO USE. 

WHO OR WHOM? AN EASY RULE FOR WORKING OUT WHICH TO USE. 

 who or who? an easy rule  

Who vs. whom can be a difficult thing to get your head around, it didn’t fully click with me until I found out about an awesome little trick to work it out. I knew the theory behind it, but I just could put it into practice. 

Don’t get me wrong, I never say the word “whom”, but I do occasionally write it. And I mean occasionally. It’s just one of those words that I (and I’m pretty sure most other people) would just rather avoid. 

The reason I think you should know this neat little trick is to call out the pretentious twats who try to use “whom” just to sound posh – but get it wrong – so so soooooo incredibly wrong that it hurts (almost as much as using “one” incorrectly instead of just saying “you” – but that’s a whole different post). 

The trick is to turn the sentence into a question. Once we have done that, answer the question with either he or him. If you answer with he, use who. If you answer with him, use whom

(If you don’t want to read through the examples, skip to the bottom for the graphic 😊)

 Example 1

Let’s say we have a sentence:

The guy who/whom is drinking gin. 

Turn it into a question:

Who/whom is drinking the gin? 

Answer the question with either he or him:

He is drinking the gin. 

He works, so the correct original sentence is:

The guy who is drinking the gin. 

 Example 2

Let’s try a different sentence:

Who/whom is she drinking the gin with?

This is already a question so no need to change it. 

Answer the question with either he or him:

She is drinking gin with him

Him works, so the correct original sentence is:

Whom is she drinking the gin with? 

  who or whom? an easy rule This trick might not work for you, but it works nicely for me and as you may have gathered, I hate getting things wrong. 

Is there anything in language that you just can’t get your head around?

Until next time,

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MY MANTRA: IT’S NEVER AS BAD AS YOU THINK IT’LL BE. 

MY MANTRA: IT’S NEVER AS BAD AS YOU THINK IT’LL BE. 

 my mantra: its never as bad as you think it'll be 
It really never is. As someone who spends their life fighting off anxious thoughts, it’s sometimes hard to remember this. My mind is contsantly firing what ifs at me (apparently I catastrophise) so sometimes it’s important for me to remind myself: I’m probably over reacting, it’s never half as bad as I think it’s going to be. 

Seriously though, whether it’s worrying about going back to work after time off, or an important meeting coming up, or obsessing over a reaction that hasn’t even happened yet – it’s never as bad as you think it’ll be. 

It was my dad that first said this to me. After having my appendix out last year and after almost a month off work, I was dreading going back. He told me this over a pint (of course) and he was right (of course). It wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be – as much as we like to think so sometimes, most of the time we’re not the glue holding the business together. They managed without me, and even though the logical part of my brain (it does exist) knew that this would be the case, the illogical, irrational part of my brain (the part that often takes over) had me in a right old panic. 

It’s stuck with me, this phrase, because my experience tells me it’s true. But we all need a reminder sometimes and this always helps me along a little. 

What’s your mantra, your little phrase that brings you back down to earth?

Until next time, 

  

IT’S OR ITS? WHEN TO USE THE APOSTROPHE. 

IT’S OR ITS? WHEN TO USE THE APOSTROPHE. 

  its or it's: an easy rule I love language. Even more so, I love the English language. The English language is horrendous in comparison to other languages; often there are more exceptions than cases that fit the rule. Because of this, I love learning little tips and tricks to getting it right. And more than that, I hate getting it wrong. (Damn girl, you have an English degree – pull yourself together!)

It’s vs. its. This one caused me heartache (yes, actual heartache…) in my first year of university when I got my first essay back covered in red pen. At the top of the page, my lecturer had written “GRAMMAR” and I was mortified. Just to be clear, I did an English degree so it’s pretty reasonable to be upset that I’d got something so simple so wrong. The mistake that I’d made the entire way through, as you may have already guessed, was writing “it’s” instead of “its”.

Up to this point in my life, I’d been taught that apostrophes were used for contractions (like can’t and don’t) and for possessives (like Ellen’s or Mum’s). But that’s not entirely true. 

When it comes to possessives, there some cases where you don’t use the apostrophe – for example its. Turns out, you don’t stick an apostrophe in there.

So here’s my quick rule for it’s or its to help you decide if you need an apostrophe or not:

If you can replace it with “it is” use “it’s”.

If you can replace it with “his” use “its”.

So there you go. If you’re as obsessive about this stuff as I am, you’ll never have to do that awkward “I don’t know the correct way to do this so I’ll just avoid the word all together” thing that happens all too often. Not with it’s and its anyway…

  
Until next time,

10 THINGS THAT MAKE ME CALM. 

10 THINGS THAT MAKE ME CALM. 

  
Two weeks have gone so quickly; tomorrow I go back to work. Of course I’m nervous, I was a bit of a wreck when I walked out of the doors a fortnight ago, but I do feel like I’m ready. 

There’s going to be plenty I need to crack on with tomorrow, so I need to make sure that I don’t get overwhelmed, stay in control and most importantly – stay calm. If I don’t, I’ll get myself into a panic, and I really don’t want that to happen. This post is a little insight into what keeps me calm. 

“Things that make me calm” was one of the first pages in my notebook that wasn’t covered in worry. It’s important that I try to remember this stuff when I start to panic.   Lists – Lists absolutely calm me down. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, writing things down helps and means that I can put things in order of priority. I feel more in control of the situation with a list in front of me.  Talking about normal things – Mostly this is Harry. When I was having a tough time at work and things were getting pretty bad, calling Harry and asking him to tell me about his day was a great first step to putting my situation in perspective.  A fresh cup of tea – I’m British, I like tea. But seriously, there is nothing that can’t be fixed by a good cuppa. It sounds cliché but for me, it works.  Going for a walk – Getting out of the situation and getting some fresh air really helps when I’m getting myself worked up. It takes me away from anything that could have triggered the panic in the first place and also really helps if I start to get flustered – thanks to the perpetually cold English weather.  Being offline – Put the phone down. Put the iPad down. Step away from the Internet. I’m not entirely sure why or how this works, it’s not often that it’s something online that sets me off. But nonetheless, getting away from technology helps me to calm down.  Falling asleep in front of the TV – There’s something nice about falling asleep in front of the TV. Obviously this isn’t something I can do if I’m at work, but after a bad day, there’s nothing nicer than a quick snooze on the sofa in an evening.  Going to pole – I’ve written an entire post about how pole fitness helps my anxiety, but any exercise in general is meant to be great for staying calm, relaxing and help control anxiety.  Listening to the rain (or wind) – This is another slightly cliché answer, but it’s lovely isn’t it? Being cosy and dry inside while you can hear the rain on the window outside. I guess that’s why you can get apps now to make the noises in case it isn’t raining (although in England that isn’t too often!).  Scented candles – This one works when the smell is familiar. I guess it doesn’t have to be a candle, just a nice, familiar smell. It takes me out of the situation in which I’m feeling overwhelmed and takes me to somewhere safe and calm. For me, cinnamon is my favourite.  Planning the future – Nothing helps me escape the overwhelming present like planning the future. Whether it’s plans for next weekend or plans for buying a house in the next few years, talking about where I want the future to take me calms me down and helps put the present in perspective.   

    So that’s it. The list isn’t exhaustive, and I’ll continue to add to it. It’s nice to remind me, when I’m feeling a little out of control – a little overwhelmed – a little panicky, that there are things in my life that can calm me down, and that I am in control.

    Until next time, 

     

    THIS IS ANXIETY & IT WILL PASS.

    THIS IS ANXIETY & IT WILL PASS.

     One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to share some of the ways I’ve been trying to help my anxiety.

    1 in 50 adults will experience Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) at some point in their life, which means it’s safe to say that anxiety is pretty common. That doesn’t mean that each person suffering from anxiety isn’t important; it doesn’t mean that they’re just a statistic. What it does mean is that there are plenty of blogs, articles and websites dedicated to understanding and dealing with anxiety.

    The first thing I did to start tackling this thing was talk to someone about what was going on in my head. I’m lucky. I have an incredibly supportive other half, parents who only ever want to see me happy and a very close group of friends, some of whom have been through the same thing. Talking helped. It made it real and spurred me on to stop the anxiety from taking over.

    Secondly, I took some time for myself. Although this technically wasn’t my decision, taking some time off work has really helped me to realise how I’m feeling and start to understand why I’m feeling that way. It’s helped me to realise that I am happy; I’m happy in my work, with my personal relationships, with my life. Whenever I feel down, I know it’s not me, it’s just the anxiety being a bastard.

    I bought a notebook and I started to write down everything that is worrying me. My worries range from having not left enough time to do the dishes before H gets home, right through to worrying about money and my health. The worries differ from minute to minute, but the worrying is constant. This sounds incredibly downbeat, right? Well, opposite each page of worry is a page of inspiration. This page could be a quote, a list of things that makes me happy, a list of things that make me calm (I like lists – in fact, the top thing on my list of things that make me calm is “lists”) or just a doodle. Writing everything down has also helped me to identify what causes my anxiety to turn into panic. Hopefully, with a bit of professional help, I can then completely avoid the thinking traps that end in the panic. I tell you now, I need to end the panic, because it is not nice.

      

     This isn’t everything, it’s just the start of getting this thing under control, but it is helping. I start back at work on Monday – I feel as though I’ve come such a long way in just two weeks, so hopefully I can keep on going at this exponential rate and stop anxiety from taking over my life again.

    Until next time,

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